Mayoral pick

All due respect to Tim Sookram, I approached the mayoral election expecting to support Mark Kleinschmidt. In the past couple of years, which coincides with his becoming a property owner in Chapel Hill, Kleinschmidt has grown into the job. He has developed an understanding of the need to foster commercial development and a vibrant downtown and encourage business growth. Increasingly, he votes with Matt Czajkowski on issues that will have a big impact on the lifestyle of residents.

But …

On a few occasions when opportunities for Kleinschmidt to show leadership have come his way, he has ducked. When some council members exhibited behavior unbecoming their office, he could have stopped it with a word. But he remained silent or defended them. Being a leader means sometimes people will get angry at you. It will feel as if they don’t like you or don’t want to be your friend. And who wants that? But a good leader will put personal comfort aside and do what is right. And when Kleinschmidt has been presented with the opportunity to do what’s right for the town, he has sometimes disappointed me.

That said, I have reservations about Tim Sookram as mayor. He has no political savvy and doesn’t look like the figurehead Chapel Hill’s increasingly wealthy and professional electorate may want representing our town. But I’ve got to hand it to him – he’s hung in there. He’s participated in all of the forums; he says what he thinks, which may not necessarily be what voters want to hear. Yet his views reflect the Chapel Hill many of us say we want: affordable housing that will allow diversity; better public transportation so we can live green; a strong downtown friendly to arts and business both. As someone who is self-employed, he may have a heightened sense of time management, and he most likely is used to setting goals and putting in the hard work to meet them, rather than sitting back and waiting for someone else to make it happen. He has the potential to grow into the role, and I’m willing to take a chance on him.
– Nancy Oates

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8 Comments

  1. This is November 1st, not April, right? Because whatever superficial mistakes Mark might have made in the last 2 years you can’t really think Tim will be a better leader for our town. Tim says some of the right things, but you really think he has any idea how to accomplish them?

    You mention putting comfort aside — isn’t that exactly what Mark did when he encouraged consideration of a permanent library at UMall? I didn’t vote for Mark last time, but he has proven me wrong with his ability to lead (when, as you indicate, he chooses). I also think he’s shown he’s a great thinker and learner and thus will only get better in some of those areas.

    I’m all for the occasional protest vote, and I can understand your making one here given your complaints about ethics in particular. But to potentially lead others down the path of Mr. Sookram who has demonstrated very little understanding of town government is quite reckless. I’ll end there before I get myself in more trouble.

  2. John Kramer

     /  November 1, 2011

    Good one, Nancy! Sookram would get my vote.

  3. Wow, so you are voting for Sookram? Whatever shred of credibility you might have retained is now gone completely……like I said: HAhaahaahaaahaaaaa

  4. Mark Marcoplos

     /  November 1, 2011

    My brain is sliding over to one side of my head…

  5. John Kramer

     /  November 1, 2011

    Has anyone else seen his flyer about Mark K???

  6. Ph. Johnson-Sledge

     /  November 1, 2011

    Thanks Nancy for thinking beyond the status quo. Your credibility hasn’t suffered for articulating a well thoughout and reasoned opinion. Mark, in my estimation, has made many mistakes and few, if any of them, were “superficial”. I don’t think we should ever not expect the very best of our leaders and that includes honesty and integrity. And transparency–a word that is bandied about quite a bit in this town–but is rarely actually employed– is essential to the role of Mayor. Being privy to an upclose look
    at Mark at his worst, I can’t see the town benefitting from more of his brand of “leadership”.

  7. Cam, don’t you mean “muahahahaha” as in a messed up haha?

  8. DOM

     /  November 1, 2011

    Gotta disagree with you on this one, Nancy. Though Mr. Sookram’s heart and mind may be in the right place according to you, his utter lack of experience in local business development and unproven ability to function effectively and efficiently with political peers makes him a a very shaky choice. For those reasons, and for a lot of positive reasons vis a vis Mr. Kleinschmidt, I’m voting for our current mayor.

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